94% of allotted Oxygen plants commissioned: Centre
Around 94% of the 1563 oxygen plants sanctioned under the aegis of the PM Cares fund or that were being set up by state-owned enterprises or government departments have been commissioned, the Union health ministry told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
All of the 1225 plants under the aegis of the PM Cares fund have been commissioned and 238 of the 338 being set up by state-owned enterprises and government departments have also been commissioned, it said.
The number is important because of the medical oxygen shortage witnessed during the bruising second wave of the coronavirus disease pandemic in April and May, and the ministry’s disclosure comes even as the threat of a possible third wave caused by the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus looms.
Responding to a query from Congress’ Anand Sharma, minister of state (health) Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar said: “The government has sanctioned 1,563 PSA oxygen generation plants of which 1,463 have been commissioned. These include 1,225 PSA plants which have been installed and commissioned by PMCARES funds in every district of the country,.”
Data released by the ministry showed ₹24.46 crores was released in 2020-21 and ₹368.04 crores was released in 2021-22 (so far) to vendors for setting up the oxygen plants.
Dr Pawar said that 238 plants were set up by public sector undertakings of the ministry of petroleum and natural gases, ministry of power, ministry of coal and ministry of railways among others.